90% of Americans Now Use EMV “Chip and Pin” When Buying At The Store

The pace of chip card adoption is picking up.

The United States may have taken its time to introduce “chip and PIN” credit and debit cards but the technology has had a positive effect for banks, retailers and consumers.

With the first anniversary of the mandatory switch to EMV-compliant transactions approaching, data published by MasterCard said that nine out of 10 people now use embedded microchip cards on a regular basis. According to a recent survey of 1,000 American consumers conducted by Braun Research on behalf of MasterCard, there has been a 38% year-on-year increase in the use of chip-enhanced payment cards in the last 12 months. Safety and security cited as significant factors for adoption.

Around 88% of all MasterCard-issued consumer credit cards in the United States now have the embedded chip—a 105% increase since the liability shift came into effect on October 1, 2015. The number of merchants accepting EMV cards has steadily risen, with MasterCard’s network currently registering 2 million chip-active merchants or 33% of all U.S. retailers.

Out of these two million active merchants, 1.3 million are regional or local merchant locations—an increase of 159%, MasterCard said.

“As more U.S. cardholders use their MasterCard chip cards, they are learning the benefits of increased safety and security,” said MasterCard’s senior vice president of product delivery Chiro Aikat, in a press release. “It’s no small undertaking to change the way people pay for things. The only reason to start this big a task is to make people’s lives better. Chips have the potential to do just that.”


Why Chip Cards Are Significant For Retailers

The U.S. may have arrived late at the EMV party, but there has been a significant drop in the level of fraud associated with counterfeit cards. At least with physical cards (digital EMV is another story).

Installed terminals at the point of sale talk to the embedded chip in a card that creates a unique code for all purchases. Before the liability switch on October 1, 2015, banks were liable for fraudulent transactions. After October 1 last year, liability switched from banks to merchants that had not yet adopted EMV payments.

See also: How MasterCard Built Digital Enablement And Changed Mobile Payments

In less than a year, the level of fraud has decreased by 54% at U.S. retailers that are EMV-compliant, said MasterCard. Citing year-on-year trends from April 2015 to April 2016, MasterCard’s data said that the costs of counterfeit fraud had increased by 77% among large American retailers that have not made the switch to EMV.

“We need chip cards in wallets and chip terminals at checkout to continue to drive card fraud out of the U.S. This country is one of the most complex markets in the world so we know things won’t change overnight,” said MasterCard’s president of North America Craig Vosburg. “However, we’re encouraged by the significant progress over the last 11 months. With every additional chip transaction we move closer and closer to our collective goal—moving fraud out of the system.”


Source: arc from Applause -- Part of the "The Crossroads of Ecommerce" Series, written by David Bolton

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TAGS:   EMV , Technology Advances


Alaska Airlines tests reusable electronic luggage tags

Alaska Airlines, the carrier that has tested solar-powered passenger ramps and fingerprint identification devices for passengers, is continuing to experiment.

The Seattle-based airline has begun testing an electronic, reusable luggage tag that is linked to a passenger’s Alaska Airlines mobile app.

Here’s how it works: Once you buy a ticket on Alaska and check in using the mobile app, the app asks whether you want to activate your electronic bag tag. When you turn on your electronic tag, the Bluetooth technology in your phone synchs with the tag and displays your flight’s destination on the tag’s tiny screen.

The goal of the tag and previous Alaska experiments is to make air travel more expedient, said Loesje Degroen, Alaska’s customer research and development manager.

Alaska began testing the electronic tag with 60 employees last summer and is now trying the technology with about 50 passengers. Later this year, Degroen said, the carrier plans to expand the test to about 500 passengers.

Some of Alaska’s experiments don’t pan out. Alaska still lets passengers use their fingerprints to access the airline’s five airport lounges, and the solar panels are still powering ramps at airports in San Jose, Palm Springs, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

But a test last summer to let passengers board using only their fingerprints for identification at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport ended without being expanded. Alaska officials would not call the test a failure, saying only that they will think of other ways to use biometrics.


Source: Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2016 -- Hugo Martin

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TAGS:   Luggage Tags, Technology Advances, trends


Worldwide wearable market to surpass 200 million

The worldwide wearable device market (commonly referred to as wearables) will see continued growth as second- and third-generation iterations reach the market. These new devices will build upon the hardware and software of their predecessors and answer some of the shortcomings and concerns that potential customers have today.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC )Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker , the worldwide wearable device market will reach a total of 111.1 million units shipped in 2016, up a strong 44.4% from the 80 million units expected to ship shipped in 2015. By 2019, the final year of the forecast, total shipments will reach 214.6 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28%.

“The most common type of wearables today are fairly basic, like fitness trackers, but over the next few years we expect a proliferation of form factors and device types,” said Jitesh Ubrani , Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Smarter clothing, eyewear, and even hearables (ear-worn devices) are all in their early stages of mass adoption. Though at present these may not be significantly smarter than their analog counterparts, the next generation of wearables are on track to offer vastly improved experiences and perhaps even augment human abilities.”

Read entire article at Payments Industry Intelligence
Written by Alex Rolfe


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TAGS:   Technology Advances, trends, Wearables